Georgia Racing


Bay Week Regatta January 2021

Friday, February 12, 2021

Bay Week Regatta in the last week of January in the Bay of Islands has become New Zealand’s top keel boat yacht racing regatta.   (The term “keel boat” excludes America’s Cup as presently conducted!)   Next year will be the 20th edition.   GEORGIA boats have, to my memory, taken part in at least 14 or 15 of them.  Certainly the only one in recent times that we did not attend was when we took part in (and won) Geelong Race Week in 2012 (which clashes with Bay Week)  in the current GEORGIA boat.   

We have had our wins and losses over the years at Bay Week, winning PHRF last year ahead of MAYHEM (Harry Dodson) though losing to them on line.  Our result this year, superficially, was worse – 2nd on line and 3rd in PHRF behind MAYHEM which won both and behind KIA KAHA in PHRF.

Nevertheless, I was pleased with the performance of both the boat and the crew.  The racing was close – really close, typified by corrected time results in Race 3 (a Bay race taking over an hour and a half): first WIRED 1 hr. 40.08; 2nd MAYHEM 1.40.11, 3RD GEORGIA 1.40.13; 4TH KIA KAHA 1.40.22.

The week before the Regatta, we had installed a new mast and carbon rig, built by New Zealand Rigging (with Bart, the owner, sailing on the boat with us), and have high hopes for it.  We were not disappointed but clearly there is a need for further tuning based on our experiences during the regatta.  With Bart, Murray Jones and Don Cowie on the boat, we have the best that there are to work out where we need to pitch things and we are expecting the Auckland Regatta at the end of March will see improvement.

Mention of Murray Jones – who took Brad Butterworth’s place as tactician with Brad sidelined by the America’s Cup Challenger series – requires a reminder of the fact that Murray last sailed with GEORGIA RACING in the mid-90s when he did tactics on the Mumm 36 with David Barnes helming.  For the crew, it was a great experience to have Murray, who was famous for his “man up the mast” role with Team New Zealand in the 2000 America’s Cup, on the boat and for me personally just great to renew that friendship.

We are certainly fortunate that these former America’s Cup sailors – Brad, Murray, Don, Stu Bannatyne and Daniel Fong – are sufficiently attracted, and find it pleasurable, to sailing with the regulars on GEORGIA in these regattas.  Once again, the shore end of a racing day social relaxation by the pool at the Kingsgate Hotel in Paihia, was most enjoyable.

It is hoped that photos from the Regatta will be able to be posted shortly.

Team for the Event was:

Logan Andresen 

Stu Bannatyne

Richard Bearda

Andrew Cooke

Don Cowie

Trent Cunningham

David Duffy

Jim Farmer

Daniel Fong

Emma Hendy

Jackie Hendy

Murray Jones

Denis Kendall

Stefano Nava

Chris Skinner

[Note: Boat manager, George Hendy, was present at the regatta but unable to sail as a result of a very swollen leg caused by an Achilles injury.  It is hoped he will be back on deck for the Auckland regatta.]

Jim Farmer

12 February 2021